UK set for visitors boom in 2013
The UK is set to welcome a 3% increase in overseas visitors next year, tourist chiefs predict.
And the amount these foreign visitors will spend during their trips in 2013 is set to rise 2.5% to a record £19 billion.
The forecasts came from VisitBritain as it launched an annual review which included reflections on the impact the Olympics had made on UK tourism.
VisitBritain said the expected growth in numbers for 2013 would mean the UK would welcome one million extra visitors from overseas next year.
But VisitBritain warned: "2013 visitor numbers are inevitably uncertain. The US and Europe remain our biggest source of visitors but face the fiscal cliff and continuing eurozone uncertainty respectively."
It said 83% of departing overseas visitors during July-September 2012 reported that they had felt either very or extremely welcome in Britain - a rise on the 79% figure for the same period in 2011.
Also, 85% said they were now very or extremely likely to recommend a holiday in Britain to their friends and family.
VisitBritain chairman Christopher Rodrigues said: "2012 has shown just what Britain can offer. It has re-energised our image overseas and triggered the desire to visit our country.
"Our job now is to turn aspiration into action. And the best way to do that is to continue the exceptional levels of collaboration between the industry, the public sector and the Government that we saw in 2012.
"We also need to keep the extraordinary spirit of the Games Makers (the Games volunteers) alive in our visitor welcome."